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and installed a stunning collection of individually crafted oak pews to reside within his Gothic masterpiece. Each pew is unique, with each pew-end design inspired by the stonework, memorials and Gothic designs within the Abbey. Gilbert Scott’s pews remained in situ in Bath Abbey until 2018, following the commencement of Bath Abbey’s ‘Footprint’s’ project. This major renovation and AROUND AND ABOUT BATH T H E A UC T I ON O F B AT H A BB E Y ’ S H I S TOR I C P EWS

JULES MITTRAAND THE BATH ABBEY PEWS

B ath abbey in the uk, one of the oldest centers of Christianity in the British Isles, has once again become the focus of attention thanks to its unique Gothic oak pews. The Abbey, which in 973 AD hosted the majestic coronation of Edgar, the first King to be crowned ‘King of England,’ has had a long and colorful history, experiencing periods of glory and grandeur as a great Cathedral as well as times of sorrow and neglect following the English Reformation. Jules Mittra is selling the Abbey’s decommissioned pews via an online auction in order to find them new homes whilst raising capital to fund the growth of his business, ‘Around and About Bath.’ A former history and politics teacher, and a keen traveler, Jules left the teaching profession in order to set up a local tour company that would offer the experience he seeks when travelling, sharing with visitors to the Bath region ‘the authentic, untouched England’ that he knows and loves. As a Bath resident and history buff, with a business founded on celebrating and sharing

redevelopment of the building is aimed at introducing thermal heating to the building, opening up the Abbey’s interior for uses beyond church services and revealing the incredible stone memorials hidden beneath the pews. The Victorian Society, dedicated to the preservation of Britain’s Victorian heritage, sprang into action to prevent the removal of one of the ‘greatest collections of Gothic pews in the country,’ taking the Abbey to court in order to prevent the pews removal. After a costly battle the Abbey won, which, sensitive to feelings surrounding the pews’ removal, decided to sell off the pews discreetly and to locals who may be interested. Jules and his team have once again shifted their attention from celebrating and sharing England’s

THE BATH ABBEY PEWS (DETAIL)

England’s forgotten heritage and culture, the moment Jules heard a team member mention the sale of the pews, he immediately took notice. Soon after, he found himself standing inside the entrance of a colossal former Cold War aircraft hangar, staring at rows of exquisite pew-ends. The pews date back to the 1860s, when world-famous Sir George Gilbert Scott, one of the era’s greatest Neo-Gothic architects, was tasked with restoring Bath Abbey. As part of his work, he designed

past through their tours, to sharing the story of some of the country’s most spectacular pews. For Jules and his team at Around and About Bath, whether the acquisition of these pews really was an act of divine intervention, or divine folly, remains to be seen. Bath Abbey’s Pews are available via a closed bid at: bathabbeypews.com For more information, contact: jules@aroundandaboutbath.com +44 7500 925202

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